Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review - Creole Choir of Cuba *****

Once again, Toby Gough has curated a superb programme at St George's West under the banner of The World Festival. Bringing together acts from Africa, South & Central America and Sri Lanka, he has given us a rare and treasured opportunity to see some of the best performers on the world music scene today.

Having seen all the shows on offer this year, the absolute highlight for me was the Creole Choir of Cuba. A 10-strong group of Haitian immigrants settled in Cuba, the choir are capable of producing some spine-tingling vocal harmonies which are perfectly suited to the wonderful acoustics of the venue.

Symbolically representing the journey of Haitians to Cuba, the set contains songs of spiritual devotion to ancient gods, proud laments for a departed homeland and some beautifully uplifting and moving songs of celebration and joy.

The choir possess some of the best voices I have ever heard, with the main female vocalist having a marvellously rich and impressive range, backed by harmonies which surround her voice like velvet. Special mention must also go to the two acapella bass singers, who underpin each number with vocal rhythms and deep, rich tones which complement the rest of the voices perfectly.

The Creole Choir of Cuba was a joy from start to finish and they and Toby Gough should be proud of a show which shines like the Caribbean sunshine from the doors of St George's West.

Creole Choir of Cuba runs until 31st August at St George's West. £15 (£12 concession, £5 child)

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